Beavers Finish 12th at Nationals; Jones Advances to Event Finals
April 20, 2012
DULUTH, Ga. - The Oregon State gymnastics team finished sixth in the evening session and 12th overall at the NCAA Championships Friday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. Melanie Jones led the Beavers qualifying for the Individual Event Finals on Sunday. In addition, Leslie Mak and Makayla Stambaugh added second team All-American honors.
"This group showed a lot of heart all year. We've been using eight competitors all year and six of them are doing 22 routines. That's a lot of work to do week in and week out and they did a great job."
Oregon State began the competition on a bye and while the Beavers were in the locker room the four teams on the floor got off to a fast start with Alabama scoring 49.600 on the beam, Florida going 49.575 on the vault, Georgia 49.400 on the bars and Arkansas scoring 49.150 on the floor.
When the Beavers reported for duty they took their first turns on the floor exercise. Kelsi Blalock and Olivia Vivian were over-aggressive in their routines with each taking an out-of-bounds deduction. A strong routine from Brittany Harris (9.80) and stellar performances by Mak, Stambaugh and Jones put the Beavers back on track. The scoring on the event held tight throughout the competition and Jones' 9.875 held up to tie for fourth place and advance her to Event Finals on Sunday afternoon. Mak and Stambaugh, each of whom scored 9.85, earned second team All-American status on the event.
Needing to get momentum rolling, Oregon State moved to the vault where the scoring was more generous. But it was not to be for the Beavers. Jones and Chelsea Tang led off with matching scores of 9.775 setting up the latter half of the lineup. Stambaugh had a small hop on the landing to score 9.80 and Harris stuck to score 9.825. Blalock fought to stick her finish to lead the Beavers with a 9.875.
At the halfway point the Beavers were in fifth at 98.025 with Ohio State in the sights at 98.200, while Florida was on fire a full-point ahead as the Beavers headed to their final bye. Alabama, Florida and Arkansas kept the pressure on with an unrelenting succession of big scores and Oregon State could never recover.
Similar to OSU's performance at regionals, the Beavers came back from the second bye with a strong performance on the uneven bars as Hannah Casey led off with a beautiful routine to score 9.80 and set the tone for the Orange and Black. Jones followed with a 9.775 and Harris nailed a fabulous routine to score 9.85. Stambaugh, a first team All-American in 2011, came through with a 9.875 to lead the team and Vivian performed a near-flawless routine before taking a step on the dismount.
Moving to the final rotation and the balance beam, OSU needed a huge score and a disastrous rotation from one of the leaders. While the Beavers performed one of their best beam sets of the season the opposition did not relent. Stambaugh led off with a season-high 9.825 to set the tone. The next four gymnasts - Blalock, Harris, Jones and Vivian - each performed solid routines with each meriting scores of 9.85. Mak closed the meet for the Beavers with a brilliant routine to score 9.90 and finish tied for sixth earning second team All-America honors.
"We definitely put ourselves in a hole in the first rotation on the floor, but I'm really proud of the way they continued through the rest of the meet," head coach Tanya Chaplin said. "They came back vaulted well and the bars were good too. And then to finish with such a great beam rotation really shows that they never quit and kept competing to the end."
TEAM Results 1) Alabama 197.675 2) Florida 197.650 3) Arkansas 197.150 4) Ohio State 196.525 5) Georgia 196.500 6) Oregon State 196.475
VAULT Results t1) Kytra Hunter (UF), Kat Ding (UGA) 9.975. t3) Marissa Gutierrez (ALA), Diandra Milliner (ALA), Marissa King (UF), Lindsey Cheek (UGA) 9.950. UNEVEN BARS Results t1) Alaina Johnson (UF), Kat Ding (UGA) 9.950. t3) Mackenzie Caquatto (UF), Chelsea Davis (UGA) 9.925. BALANCE BEAM Results t1) Geralen Stack-Eaton (ALA), Ashley Priess (ALA), Jaime Pisani (ARK), Katherine Grable (ARK) 9.950. FLOOR EXERCISE Results 1) Kytra Hunter (UF) 9.950. t2) Geralen Stack-Eaton (ALA), Jaime Pisani (ARK) 9.900. ALL-AROUND Results 1) Kytra Hunter (UF) 39.725. 2) Kat Ding (UGA) 39.650. 3) Jaime Pisani (ARK) 39.625.
OSU: 196.475; VAULT: 49.050, BARS: 49.150, BEAM: 49.300, FLOOR: 48.975.
VAULT: Kelsi Blalock 9.875; Brittany Harris 9.825; Makayla Stambaugh 9.800; Chelsea Tang 9.775; Melanie Jones 9.775; Leslie Mak 9.725.
BARS: Makayla Stambaugh 9.875; Brittany Harris 9.850; Olivia Vivian 9.850; Hannah Casey 9.800; Melanie Jones 9.775; Leslie Mak 9.600.
BEAM: Leslie Mak 9.900, Kelsi Blalock 9.850; Brittany Harris 9.850; Melanie Jones 9.850; Olivia Vivian 9.850; Makayla Stambaugh 9.825.
FLOOR: Melanie Jones 9.875; Makayla Stambaugh 9.850; Leslie Mak 9.850; Brittany Harris 9.800; Kelsi Blalock 9.600; Olivia Vivian 9.175.
ALL-AROUND: Makayla Stambaugh 39.350; Brittany Harris 39.325; Melanie Jones 39.275; Leslie Mak 39.075.